Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November dropped $1.21 to $111.37 a barrel in London midday deals.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for November, shed $1.12 to $88.76 a barrel.
The drop in prices “really is continued concerns about the global economy, and the issue over Europe continues to be a bearish factor on oil markets,” Victor Shum, an analyst at Purvin and Gertz energy consultants, told AFP.
The eurozone launches its much-awaited 500-billion-euro ($650 billion) rescue fund on Monday, a positive backdrop for finance ministers trying to settle Greece’s tortuous debt bailout and as Spain agonises over seeking a rescue.
Finance ministers of the 17-state euro bloc gather just 10 days before the European Union’s 27 leaders meet in Brussels, with recent market calm giving them some breathing room after months of turmoil and anxiety over Spain’s future.
The meeting will see the formal launch and inaugural board meeting of the European Stability Mechanism, a key step forward in the eurozone’s defences against the debt crisis which has helped push the bloc back into recession.
The fund is not yet operational, however.